wip 10.27.12


family night.
nick and his dad decided we should do a carnival/fair theme. was really good! we had corn dogs, pretzels, fresh squeezed lemonade, elote, bits and fixins, and chocolate covered strawberries, bananas, and bacon. was a hit. trying to come up with different themes for future dinners.

uncle john jousting with ben and noah. i think he's related to jer bear. they never take their shoes off.

me playing with the kiddos. i believe we were rolling a ball back and forth. 

nick and shan field trip!
nick's mom came over and watched ben so we could go to michigan for a day trip.

we had absolutely no plan. were just going to go where ever and do whatever tickled our fancy.

i was chatting and almost missed this picture. we were both shocked that i actually got the sign!

since we had no plan, we decided to stop at the welcome center and pick up some brochures. yes, we were total tourists. ;)

and the obligatory michigan light house.

our first stop was vineyard gourmet chocolates.

yes, we bought some. and plain. and two other flavors. totally yummy. 

the salted caramel was a little too salty for me. complete and total shocker coming from the salt craver.

trying out the red pepper flaked covered bacon. 

right next door was contessa.

super cute sign.

a selfy from the mirror across from us. pardon the crazy hair. had to really concentrate to take the picture! 

thought it was cute that they had animal crackers instead of the standard oyster crackers. 


the tasting was $5/7 pours. free if you bought a bottle. the wine was okay. of course, the one bottle we liked was the most expensive. and it was insanely crowded inside. their tasting room was much too small. they had a really  nice outdoor area but was a bit chilly for that when we were there.

nick saw a cider mill and knew we had to stop.  i mean, we can't just drink wine and eat chocolate all day!

the samples were free. but they did limit you to six. 

we tried: amaretto, ginger, oatmeal, cinnamon, pomegranate, praline, coconut, caramel, and maybe a few others. praline was our favorite. 
you could watch them making the apple cider fresh.

the press was pretty nasty. a huge tube of apple chunks. oh well, it tasted good!

the funniest napkins. perfect for a party with lots of singles... or not. 

a very cool old barn next door to the chocolate garden

nick was confused and couldn't figure out how to get in. the sign on the door read 'use other door.' he didn't think to use the one right next to it! dork..

had to fill out a form and pick our truffles.  we thought the tasting was a bit pricey. maybe you should have gotten one more sample. but we aren't up to date on our truffle costs.

here they are!
i can't remember all that we got. i think nick got: cayenne, cherry, and orange. the orange was by far the best.


and i got: salted dark, solera double gold, and white chocolate latte. i think the solera double gold was our favorite from that batch.

loved one of the signs they had. if only i ate more chocolate. but wine does make chocolate better.

who knew?

i think a trip to chicago's chocolate place is a must now. gotta see if this place really was better! we ate at ghirardelli when we were in san fran but i think we only ate ice cream. another reason to go back! ;)

they also had some chocolate beverages. i cannot remember what i got but goodness was it rich! nick tried the hot drinking chocolate.

next stop: karma vista. 

the scenery and view was amazing. they were located on top of a hill. i could have stood outside for hours and just took in the beautiful fall foliage.

inside was pretty cool too. the tasting room wasn't terribly crowded. we liked a bunch of their wines. free tastings {limit of six wines}. i think the wine maker served us which was pretty darn cool.  they also had super fun names for their wines and witty descriptions. we were big fans.

wanted to stop somewhere different for lunch. nick found silver beach pizza. didn't realize it was gelsosomo's pizza. so not necessarily somewhere different. but they did have schooners! and it was in an old train station!

and this super nifty way to open the bathroom door!

our schooners. nothing like drinking beer in the middle of a wine tasting extravaganza!
his: black and blue. {guiness and blue moon.}
hers: apple cider beer.

hi babe. 

a brilliant name for fried pickles. 

LOVE the red/green chip that sat on the table. i think all restaurants should start using them.

trying to plan the rest of our day.

couldn't decide on one pizza. so we got two: garlic greek and the bbq chicken with goat cheese. our waitress recommended the cheese substitution. both were way tasty. and no, we didn't eat it all! 

white pine winery had  a tasting room less than a mile from silver beach. so we stopped. why not?!

was a small space but thankfully wasn't very crowded. maybe it was because it was later in the day? the server was friendly and very informative. $5 for a tasting. i forget how many wines we got. but it was free if you purchased a bottle.

our gps wasn't very helpful finding the last winery. we drove around forever. but the scenery was beautiful. we didn't mind. loved the bare trees. so creepy.  i was taking pictures as we were driving by. i couldn't help it!

finally made it to lemon creek. duh, we had been here before. we couldn't remember. {last time we visited michigan for a wine tour was 2008! we stopped at round barn and tabor hill in 2010? yup. found it.}

the tasting area was huge. they have added on since we were there last. however, it was really crowded despite all the space. we weren't really impressed. $5 for 5 pours and you got to keep the glass.

look at their description. pairs with chicken, fish, or fun? really?

more pretty trees outside. 

and a giant wine glass outside their driveway. 

more pretty trees. pardon the quality. was snaped through the windshield. 

drove to our hotel. a fancy fairfield inn. we couldn't decide on a bed and breakfast. just decided to go for the hotel. they had some amazing carpeting...

our room was decent. had a whirlpool. yay for nick splurging.

headed out to dinner. couldn't decide where to go. nick wanted a ribeye, so he chose skip's

we ordered lots of food. and ended up not eating lots of food! oh well...

quite possibly the best french onion soup. 

nick got crab. wasn't too impressed.

mushrooms. eh. and i'm a huge mushroom person. they were just kinda bland. 

prime rib. it's never a bad thing. and it came with horseradish sauce. love it when that happens!

nick's rib eye. i think he liked my prime rib better. he usually does, though.

headed back to the room to enjoy the whirlpool and watch sports. was a nice relaxing evening. had thought about heading to four winds since we were so close, but were so full that we just wanted to be lazy! maybe next time!

nick forgot to change his call. and when i asked him, his coworker had already been scheduled to work her other job. nick has had to go to work for like the last 6 weekends. were keeping our fingers crossed that nothing would come up... but... he got a phone call early sunday morning. thankfully, it was nothing urgent and we were able to spend the day in michigan!

taking call and watching football to plan our fantasy line ups!

hello sand dune. nice to see you in our hotel parking lot. 


good bye hotel! totally made us appreciate secrets and how quiet those rooms truly are! but can't complain for what we spent. 

there were the coolest red bushes/trees everywhere. 

almost missed it. but i managed to get a bit of it. really wanted to go in but they were closed.

more of the cool red/orange plants.

pretty tunnel.

our first stop of the day. 

the vines were so pretty. 

they have beautiful property!

yay for decent outside self portraits. 

loved the quote outside. 

the tasting area was awesome. so open. and very different from all other wineries.  $10/4 pairings.  they give you a flight paired with cheese {for the whites} and chocolate {for the reds}.

of course, we got one of each! nothing better than cheese and chocolate for breakfast!

cheese. ha!

nick made me finish whatever he didn't like...

a super nice employee took our photo. 

very cool that we could sit on our own and take our time. some times i feel so very rushed and crowded. 

bottoms up.

couldn't believe that nick actually noticed the giant hornet's/wasp's nests in the trees. he never pays attention to scenery! 

were excited to stop at tabor hill. have always been a big fan of theirs...

had some super pretty chocolates.

we chose four. they were all pretty tasty.

and why we are no longer fans. 

and we couldn't share a tasting. which we have NEVER experienced. even in napa we could share. we think they were getting greedy.  most smaller wineries refunded the tasting with one bottle purchase. but $2 back if we bought three bottles. seriously? we left. only bought chocolate. might boycott their wines in the future. not sure. but really, we don't understand.

their pretty vineyards and leaves as we left!

last stop! a favorite! round barn

look! more of my favorite red/orange whatever they are!

the wine tasting area.

on our way to the beer barn.

hey love.

boo! no beer tasting on weekends. the guy did let us share one. 

love that they had bags for the growlers. awesome!

then we headed to the wine barn.
i believe the tastings were $5 each. six chips with a discount chip off of a bottle purchase. and we kept the glasses. i could be wrong, but it was reasonable. 

they have added to their hard liquor mix. was originally vodka. now they have bourbon and rum. 

finished the tasting and headed outside. they had a band setting up. pretty cool idea. 

why is there a random man in a construction hat watching? 

cute speed bump sign.

round barn convinced us to try their sister site: free run cellars.
their fun sign!

we weren't impressed.

 thought we got a bigger discount with our round barn glasses. guess we misunderstood. had to pay $1/tasting. and it wasn't anything too impressive.

they did have grappa though. holy potent-ness!

and a pretty cool idea for a cork wall.

such a pretty day to be out and about.

hello moo cows.

heading back home. decided to pick up quaker steak. i know, nothing new. but sounded delicious on a football sunday. 

love it when we get home and ben is soooo excited to see us. the hugs and kisses are the best. 

very grateful that our last minute get away went well. no snafus. were able to find a babysitter, thanks gigi, and hotel on about two weeks notice. yay! thinking next time we'll leave friday evening and head a bit further into michigan...

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